WLC recommends: Pantechnicon, London

Douglas Blyde visits Pantechnicon in Belgravia and discovers how the restaurant’s fusion of Japanese and Nordic cuisine delivers something different on each of its five floors. Taken from this year’s Wine List Confidential guide, available to buy now.

“Based on Belgravia’s Motcomb Street, multi-storey restaurant and shopping arcade Pantechnicon features a variety of different Japanese- and Nordic-inspired shops and food spots over five floors,” appraised Square Meal of the brilliantly sharp Pantechnicon.

Culinary experiences include the ground floor Sakaya boutique bottle shop, bar and discreet private room, showcasing coveted releases from Chichibu Distillery. Then, off the main atrium is the “Paris-meets-Tokyo” Café Kitsuné, known for its signature hedonistic caramel miso rice pudding brioches. Outside is the garden Kiosk dispensing Peckham-brewed “session sakes” and gyozas.

Below is Japanese restaurant Sachi, replete with a long sushi and sashimi counter serving British line-caught fish with British-grown wasabi. Upstairs is Eldr and the roof garden, where pickling, foraging, and cooking with fire are rejoiced. The Nordic kitchen team is led by Finnish head chef Joni Ketonen (formerly of No. 5 Social by Jason Atherton; The Fat Duck; St. John; Quay in Sydney; Adam and Albin in Stockholm; and Olo, Helsinki).

The wine lists are crafted by Aix-en-Provence-raised food and beverage director Marc Andrea Levy (formerly of Almeida and Murano)​. A study on sustainability, bottles could include Swedish pét-nats alongside the many grower Champagnes and organic wines such as Listan Bianco, Artifice, Borja Perez, Tenerife – and even a Solaris from Denmark. The emphasis is on clean flavours with pricing kept determinedly fair.

Dishes at Eldr may include the flavoursome aubergine, morels, wild garlic and barley, paired with young Château Le Puy Emilien, an iconic Vin de France featuring old Carménère and no new oak.

Meanwhile at Sachi, head sommelier Maxim Kassir is devising a journey into Japan’s grapes, including Muscat Bailey which “recalls cru Beaujolais”, says Levy, while the list of largely organic, low-or-no pasteurisation sakes has been curated by one of the UK’s only sake samurais.

Score: 90.6 Price: 90 Size: 89 Range: 91 Originality: 93 Experience: 90

To purchase a copy of the 2022 Wine List Confidential guide, click here.

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